Q: Last night my kitchen sink clogged up while I was in the middle of a load of dirty dishes. By morning, the sink had finally drained, but I certainly don’t want this happening again. Is it a situation I can tackle this myself, or do I need to call a plumber?
A: While a clogged kitchen sink is annoying, most folks can clear up this common problem without a plumber or caustic chemicals. Often, a buildup of food scraps and grunge is to blame for the obstruction. Fat and grease, fibrous foods like celery, starchy stuff such as pasta and potatoes, and even bones can wind up in your kitchen sink accidentally. Although certain food refuse can safely be ground up by a garbage disposal, stubborn scraps and gross goo can eventually stop up a hard-working kitchen sink, so follow this guide to get the drain running again.
Check the garbage disposal.
A clogged kitchen sink with a built-in garbage dipsosal may just have food scraps from last night’s dinner that the unit failed to grind up, in which case running the appliance again could fix the problem. Turn on the tap and switch on the disposal.
If nothing happens when you flip the switch, the disposal’s internal circuit breaker may have tripped due to the clog overloading the motor. Look underneath the unit for a small red button, push it to reset the circuit breaker, and try running the unit again.